REGIONAL DIFFERENCES IN STUDENTS' READING, MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE OUTCOMES ON PISA 2018 IN RUSSIA
In recent years, many countries have begun to pay more attention to the results of comparative international studies in education, for example, TIMSS, PIRLS, and PISA. In addition to international comparisons of students' outcomes, the issue of within-country differences in students’ results and access to educational resources is becoming increasingly relevant. Such within-country comparisons became possible in 2019 when the last data of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) arrived.,. In this regard Russia, as a country with a large territory and great social, economic and language diversity, might become an interesting case to examine. The research focus will be on the regional differences not only in students' results in reading, mathematics, and science, but also in their access to educational resources controlling their socio-economic and school context that is traditionally associated by researchers with higher students’ performance.
This paper examines the concept of spatial heterogeneity using the data of two Russian regions – Moscow Region and the Tatarstan republic. We compare the estimates for the relationship of students' PISA results with their personal, family and school characteristics, analyzing regional differences in share of variation in PISA performance, explained by these predictors.
Thus, regional inequality in PISA results is observed in all three subjects – mathematics, reading, and sciences. Moreover, the gap in the average scores of students in the Moscow region and the Republic of Tatarstan corresponds to almost five months, or a half-year of studying. This level of regional differences exceeds the international one. Large and significant differences are observed in the family and school characteristics. The contribution of these predictors to students’ achievements also vary among regions. This is an important point for educational policy which shows that the effectiveness of decisions can also vary depending on the territory.